Arguments – they’re part of life. We’re all competitive beasts, never wanting to admit fault or defeat, and will go to great lengths when defending our honor when challenged or threatened. Arguments have started wars, shattered relationships, broken families, declared victors, but have also awarded respect. A win will always be a win, but longstanding respect and admitted defeat are far greater trophies than another tally mark on a record sheet somewhere. That’s where our story begins for this group of alcohol swigging, loud mouthed master-debaters (had to make that joke once, c’mon!), connected by our love of whiskey, which is only overpowered by our love for all things pop culture – cinema, music, television, gaming, you name it. Inebriation and verbal assaulting, how could this go wrong?!
Needless to say, all we do now is argue about pop culture and hot topics of the day. Despite sounding like the grunts and groans of a pack of psychopaths, we decided to translate our debates into a readable affair. This means that every few weeks or so, we will be posting our thoughts on upcoming releases and pop culture in general. Since agreeing is for peace-loving hippies, our arguments will be broken up into two sides, and the winner is decided by the readers. Yes, our fates are in your hands!
Before we begin though, allow us to introduce ourselves.
Christian: A nearly retired cop with nothing left to lose, Christian turned to bath salts and cat urine to deal with losing three wives and up to seven stepchildren (they were gingers though, does that even count?). Although it is true that he is extremely opinionated, Christian only pushes his opinions on those he loves most (especially you, dear reader). Famous for his last stand at the Alamo and ability to produce children with a single look, this is a man who should by no means be considered harmless. Aside from devilish good looks and cologne that doesn’t come in an aluminum can, his knowledge of everything pop-culture will leave wives crying for divorce and daughters breaking the locks their fathers rightfully installed on their chastity belts. Debating isn’t exactly his strong suit, but he did once defeat a whole debate team using only the power of a flamethrower, so maybe that counts.
Gem: Gem has lived the secluded life of an academic, dedicated to a better understanding of critical analysis. Emerging from five years struggling to insert page numbers into Word, Gem indulged in the world of film to satiate her creative side – from which burst the need to obliterate those who do not agree with her inane, profane ranting. Her most critically acclaimed debate was executed at this year’s Comic Con when she swayed a crowd of riotous nerds into agreeing that yes, a coat rack could defeat Wolverine. The opposition doesn’t stand a chance.
Nato: Traveling back in time from a dystopian universe where pop culture debates are a game of life and death, Nato (formerly Natobombious Kick-Assious) continues to extend his unbeaten streak against the competition he now sees in three (barely) functioning alcoholics who devour useless entertainment factoids like the bottles of Jack taped to their hands. Matt can make a case for anything, but enjoys the new challenge of debate through writing, disabling his hypnotically enchanting “hair-flip” closing visual, typically bringing competition to their knees with one swiftly punctuated “swoosh.” Who needs a closing argument when you have great hair? You’re about to witness the great lengths he’s willing to go and mighty stretches he’s willing to make, abandoning all notions of self-respect just to deliver the most convincing arguments conceivable. A pop-culture chameleon, Nato can do it all. We promise we’ll do our best to contain him, but it might be too late already…
Alex: Formed from the recovered DNA of Stephen A. Douglas, Ben Franklin, and Socrates, Alex is an unstoppable force in an argument. Basically every epic speech in every courtroom movie/TV show ever was copied verbatim from arguments Alex has made. If the world listened to his points on abortion, gay marriage, or America’s healthcare system, all people would finally be in agreement. But why waste his talents on such minutia? It’s the world of the media that sparks the fiercest debates, and thus his fiercest opinions. But just because he’s such an eloquent debater in person doesn’t mean that doesn’t translate into his writing. Some argue the pen is mightier than the sword. Well Alex doesn’t write with a pen, he uses a sword to slice paper into the words that crush those who disagree. Whoever opposes him ought to fear for not only their dignity, but their safety as well.
Today’s Argument: Joker’s Plan Vs. Bane’s Plan
The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were two films featuring the most formidable of foes for the Caped Crusader. Both Joker and Bane had excellent plans to take over and destroy Gotham, but the question is: which one of the plans was better? That’s what our experts are racking their brains to find out, so read on to see their thoughts!
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“It’s simple, we kill the Batman!”
Is it that simple though? Numerous masked villains have tried over and over again on-screen, yet the Caped Crusader still lives to fight another day. Most recently, Talia Al Ghul and Bane tried to blow Gotham up with a devastating high-tech bomb, foiled once again by Bruce Wayne’s tenacious ability to climb large walls and seemingly teleport from deserts to cities. But honestly, what a rubbish plan, resulting to a timer and suspense. It’s all well and good, but too many holes were left open, and too much was left riding on the bomb’s execution. If it were up to me, I’d prefer The Joker’s maniacal plan from The Dark Knight over the botched work in The Dark Knight Rises, and don’t worry, here’s why.
Chaos. Unmitigated, unpredictable, uproarious
Which brings me to my next point, The Joker is a man to be feared by all. Knowing Gotham’s seedy nature, The Joker strung together all the biggest and meanest ringleaders behind Gotham’s biggest crime syndicates and presented a common goal: killing Batman. Get rid of the Bat and Gotham is theirs for the taking. Sure, Bane unleashes a prison full of inmates amongst the city, but those are unpredictable wild cards you can’t really control. The Joker on the other hand singled out professionals, dirty dealers who knew how to stay off the radar yet still get the undesirable jobs done, and do them well. Sure, no criminal is to be trusted, but wouldn’t you want the business type over a knife wielding drifter? But who would cross The Joker anyway, after performing numerous “magic tricks” which presented his very stern and focused approach. Either you’re on board, or you’re dead. At a psychopathic whim.
The Joker took to the streets of Gotham City as a new hobby, wanting Batman dead for shits and giggles. Why else would he burn all that money? It’s not about the fame and fortune for him, but the sick, twisted desire to bring anarchy and shake the system, by any and every way possible. How do you track a mastermind who doesn’t even know his own next move? All Batman really had to go on was dead body after dead body, Joker card by Joker card. Keep them guessing, right? That was The Joker’s great, and most successful skill of all.
As far as Nolan’s antagonists go, follow the funnyman if you want the best plan of attack against Gotham City.
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The Joker spins his own publicly-lauded psychosis to reflect the tyranny lurking beneath the surface of everyone. He constructs arresting diatribes about society’s acceptance of criminals being executed and the thin line between hero and villain. He cripples Batman and Dent’s psychologies and reveals in them both the choice to embody either.
His plan hatches from his sociological observations. He’s out to destroy Gotham to prove a fucking point! His dislike of idealistic figures like Harvey Dent serve as a catalyst: his havoc is as he calls it, “a social experiment.”
In contrast there’s Bane’s scheme. His plan has all the finesse and cunning of a Tyrannosaur crashing Justin Bieber’s wedding dress fitting. Grandiose, brash and causing the shrieking poof and his acolytes to join in their terror and grow stronger, Bane’s plan unites all of Gotham against one easily identifiable villain. Whereas The Joker chipped away at Batman’s conscience and at Dent’s sense of reasoning to destabilise the foundations of Gotham; Bane, along with the dead pet tarantula attached to his face had one simple, central idea: BIG BOMB. *yawn*
The Joker orchestrates an attack to rival Bane’s BIG BOMB by subverting public figures of trust and moral fibre. A crumbling ethical code is far, far harder to re-establish than physical damage caused by an explosion. How can you re-invigorate loyalty toward your city’s leader if you witness them behaving as irresponsibly as its criminals?
When Dent discovers his fiancée has been murdered he becomes what the Joker predicted and seeks torturous revenge. We, the audience realise The Joker was right. Dent, the white knight, was only one step away from madness. Such a possibility leaves Gotham hanging by a thread.
The Joker taunts Batman, Dent, members of law enforcement and local council by running rings around them. He storms in, a hair’s breadth away only to escape moments later. He keeps control at all times. How does Bane, that lumbering dullard, deal with Gotham’s dark knight? He banishes Batman to an impossible-to-escape prison. In another country.
His final prong of attack aboard the two ferries is personable with direct consequences for innocent members of the public and inmates from Arkham Asylum. The Joker puts the choice to live in their hands. His ferry stunt illuminates one eminent truth: a dark heart beats in not only the dark knight himself, but inside every person of Gotham. The Joker’s plans for Gotham were never about mass devastation but for mass degradation of the city’s soul.
Such a terrifying revelation would scar Gotham for far longer than Bane’s plan.
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As celebrated as Batman is for his heroic deeds and unfortunate upbringing (sorry about your parents, Bats), it seems that many of his adversaries are quite capable of giving him quite a spanking and taking Gotham for a loop before he can even wake up for his midmorning tea and meditation. Even though The Dark Knight Trilogy took a more grim look at our hero, facing him with moral decisions that even Batman had trouble deciphering, it still had one key thing in common with the comics: Batman got his butt handed to him on a silver platter.
I mean, sure, the Joker came along and almost blew up some boats, killed Rachel, blah blah blah, but show the part in “The Dark Knight” when the Joker takes over all of Gotham City and freaking runs the place for an extended amount of time. Bane, the man who broke the Bat, is just more well-equipped for this type of job. It’s one thing to be a little eccentric and have a few followers beat up on some people, but it’s another to disassemble a plane midflight, blow up a football stadium (with precision timing), take over Gotham City, and also break Batman’s back for good measure as well.
Plus Bane has intimidation coming out of his skin. If I saw him from miles away with a telescope, I would still wet myself knowing that he could be here any minute. As a professional terrorist, the man is just a better example of how to do a hostile takeover right the first time around. He goes from living in the sewers to walking the streets in his excessively large coat in a matter of days, while the Joker is probably still dangling from that wire at the end of “The Dark Knight.”
So here’s how Bane got his way: he cuts off Gotham from military access, refusing to share his toys with the government. He breaks Batman (seriously, this fact makes the whole argument valid) and then romps around his old city doing whatever he wants to just to spite the old hero. The fact that his followers are willing to die for him just because “they’re expecting a body” when the plane crashes is a sign that you don’t mess with this guy.
If we were debating who was the better, more twisted villain, this argument would be totally different. But for the man (or woman) most qualified to run Gotham, the award goes to Bane, simply because he is insane enough to get the job done. The Joker gets the consolation prize of happening to be the best villain in the world. Well played, gentlemen.
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While both plans were excellent and as villainous as they come, the Joker’s plan simply doesn’t hold a candle to Bane’s for one main reason: the scale.
With the Joker’s plan, the death would have been coming from two main boats of people, with Bane’s all of Gotham was in danger. And with Bane, there was nothing the people of Gotham could do about it. Sure they could agree to follow the rules of the militaristic state without question or resistance, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were all going to die when the bomb went off.
The rest of Joker’s plan that didn’t involve the boat didn’t really involve all of Gotham either. Sure, people were terrified of who he was going to kill next, but it was usually important people dying. The day to day lives of normal citizens wasn’t all that much worse off. The whole scheme was to mess with Batman, and it would all fall apart by Batman simply revealing his identity. Bane’s plan was better off with Batman out of the picture, because he was trying to destroy every bit of Gotham, not just make some creepy videos and kill a few public officials.
The rest of the country took note of Bane’s plan, not just Gotham. The president even commented on it, but there was simply nothing the army or the national guard could do. They make a false move, the bomb goes off, they invade, people die and the bomb goes off. It’s a completely hopeless situation.
As much as The Dark Knight Rises talks about the worst situations being those where hope is still present, what is much worse than that is a totally hopeless situation where the feeling of hope is still remembered. There was no way the people of Gotham were going to survive that bomb, and they knew it, meaning they were just biding their time until death, with only a fool’s hope that they would survive.
In The Dark Knight there was little doubt that the characters were going to make the right decision and not kill each other, and while that was going on the Joker was busy getting pummled by Batman. In The Dark Knight Rises, it wasn’t up to the citizens, all they could do is speed up the process towards death. Batman was long gone (or so he should’ve been if Bane’s scheme went according to plan) so there was no savior to swoop in and destroy the militaristic dictator who had taken control of the city.
It also wasn’t just Bane that the people need to be afraid of, it was all his followers as well. With the Joker, his henchmen were simply that – henchmen, guns for hire. They were afraid of the Joker, and certainly didn’t trust him. On the other hand, Bane’s followers were fervent believers in the cause. They were willing to sacrifice whatever it took to make sure the fire would rise.
And rise it did. Bane’s plan was way, way better for the destruction of Gotham City.
The arguments have been made! Now it’s your turn, head to the comments section and weigh-in on which villain had the better plan.
And if you enjoyed our arguments, perhaps you’re interested in some of our past ones, such as:Previous